The resolution


The problem with the parliament

The military has at its disposal all the muscle and money that it wants. The courts have at their disposal their judgments and their irreplaceable position in any democracy. What does the parliament have in this standoff between institutions?

Does it have the moral authority that comes with representing our teeming millions? Does that count for anything anymore in our unfortunate republic? For whatever it is worth, however, parliament passed the other day the pro-democracy resolution tabled by the ANP. The ruling PPP tried its best to have a unanimous resolution passed through, and though it failed to win over the principal party of the opposition, it didn’t do too bad a job at it either; not only did it get the PML(Q) to agree, it brought the MQM on board, which was dilly-dallying initially. But the real feather in treasury’s cap was the opposition’s JUI(F), which also signed the resolution.

The original resolution was worded a little sharper than the current, watered down version, which, in its own right has some rather powerful stuff. No one can find fault with it and it makes all the right sounds. It urges all state institutions to “strictly work within the limits imposed upon them by the constitution.”

If it were strictly a pressure building move, placing the parliament firmly on a particular side of the gathering storm, the resolution has, despite the best of intentions, failed. The biggest opposition party in the house, the PML(N), walked out, revealing a fissure in the parliament for the powers that be to zero in on. And both the MQM’s initial reluctance and their past history leave no questions as to where the chips will fall when push comes to shove. The PML(Q)’s ideology, or lack thereof, also presents a problem.

And that right there is a problem. The army, by its nature, has a unity of command. The judiciary doesn’t have to be unified but unfortunately in the recent past, most of our judgments on major issues haven’t had any dissenting notes. The parliamentarians, on the other hand, by the very design of their institution, cannot – should not – be on the same page with each other. The PML(N) should have had its eye on the larger picture and should have participated in some institutional activism.


  1. Mian like musharaf will never grow, Asma is right jo aaj kandha day rahain hain kal yeh in ka bhi phanda banay gha

  2. Sharif has grown their grip on politics and have shown maturity. Establishment is weak due to the Nawaz Sharif not supporting their games. Nawaz has looks to learn from past mistakes wheras Imran Khan just started making mistakes. Coming of Sharif in power is death for establishment.

  3. An apt analysis of current situation sans reality. Is telling the truth to a court is unconstitutional? If so why does the govt not sack unconstitutional Army and ISI cheifs? By the way why govt is afraid of memo outcome? If their hands are clean they should allow free inquiry. If CJ and group is biased, Asma Jehangir and alike must accept that they were wrong in supporting the CJ and Musharraf was right. Its not a simple affair. Yesterday Aitezaz argued that Musharraf as president did not enjoy indemnity, tomorrow he shall claim/ prove same for Zardari. DICHOTOMY in national behavior.

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